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Bill Strzempek's Profile

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Grand Central Business Lunch

Ive booked lots of business lunches with clients at Fonda del Sol for lunch and all have enjoyed it. Avra is another very tested and loved choice.

Aug 03, 2012
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

Dreamin' of Paris - good takeaway recommendations

Stephane Jego does an astonishing takeaway at Chez L'Ami Jean. It's 25Euros per person and a bargain. I did it for a home party, ordered for 3 and there was easily enough food for 6. There was a hamper of different saucisses, butter, cornichons, bread, a tin of pate du campagne, a platter of cold eel in aspic that was incredible, another dish that am forgetting right now, an assortment of puddings, and a vat of that rice pudding. Nicely packaged in those tins so you can eat on the plane too! I believe you have to order 24 hours in advance.

May 02, 2011
Bill Strzempek in France

Week long Paris trip in May '11

At the risk of throwing your entire schedule out of whack, I wonder if you are aware of the Versailles Eaux Musicales weekends which begin in April; I would not want you to miss this event when the incredibly stunning fountains are turned on and music plays across the grounds. There is a cafe with pretty good food in the palace, but plan on an early lunch, sells out quickly, or better yet, bring your own food. There are some okay bistros in Versailles itself, but you are not going to want to wander all the way over there and back again for lunch. There are also fetching young girls in the gardens who squeeze fresh orange juice for you for refreshment. I can't recommend these fountain weekends highly enough, it would be worth it to swap your Thursday trip out there for your Saturday. You can (and should) purchase your entry package tickets online and avoid the long lines in the morning and get through the palace before everyone else (you can book on the palace website or at fnac.fr). Whenever you go, plan a comforting meal for that evening, you are going to be exhausted from the walking and hungry as a horse.

Feb 14, 2011
Bill Strzempek in France

Manhattan, NY - I need a vegetarian AND kosher place to take an important business client

Thank you for your suggestions, they are a great help and I will ask the client his opinions on them, better safe than sorry I am learning on this delicate and important issue.

Oct 19, 2010
Bill Strzempek in Kosher

Manhattan, NY - I need a vegetarian AND kosher place to take an important business client

It needs to be suitable for a business lunch as opposed to really great casual place.
And to make it more challenging -- ideally it should be in reasonable distance to Tribeca but I'm not holding fast to that if it is nice venue and menu...

I have not failed my boss with his client lunches yet, but the bar is a bit too high for me alone on this one and I am coming up blank!!

Thanks for any suggestions.

Oct 18, 2010
Bill Strzempek in Kosher

I HAVE NO CLUE!! I need a great kosher vegetarian place for a biz lunch w/ important client

Thanks all - I did not realize there was a kosher board! "Who knew?" FYI, it must be both kosher AND vegetarian, thanks for the pointers, all, as always.

Oct 18, 2010
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

I HAVE NO CLUE!! I need a great kosher vegetarian place for a biz lunch w/ important client

And to make it more challenging -- should be in reasonable distance to Tribeca...

I keep thinking Nobu, but what about the kosher part?? Somewhere in the back of my brain I think they do kosher...

I have not failed my boss with his client lunches yet, but the bar is a bit too high for me alone on this one!!

Thanks for any sugs.

Oct 18, 2010
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

The food tourist's dilemma

I have never experienced being laughed at for speaking intermediate level French at any moment of travelling 18 years in France. I think if you extend yourself it is appreciated and you get more out of the experience.

Jul 16, 2010
Bill Strzempek in France

Fiddleheads

I had fiddleheads (tetes du violin) this past weekend at L'Express, and almost passed them by until I asked for something green to go with the steak frites.. They were very delicate and I think slightly over-cooked, when I make them at home I make them a little more al dente. L'Express served them with cubed ham bits and mushrooms in a cream sauce, which seemed to be loosened from the juice from the fiddleheads. I think a little does of heavy cream would not have harmed the dish.

-----
L'Express Restaurant
3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M4, CA

Jun 01, 2010
Bill Strzempek in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Nice Wedding Gift Resto to combine with Whale Watching [San Diego]

Yes, I was thinking of something near the harbor within walking distance, or with a view of the water.

Oct 09, 2009
Bill Strzempek in San Diego

Nice Wedding Gift Resto to combine with Whale Watching [San Diego]

Some friends are getting married and I know that they are receiving whale watching gift certificates when they visit San Diego. I thought it would be nice to give them a dinner certificate for a nice place to eat after the whale watch. I found a place called The Fish Market, but reviews online seem to be mixed. What do Chowhounds think? Thanks from the East Coast.

Oct 08, 2009
Bill Strzempek in San Diego

Outdoor cafe w/ great food CPW?

Opposite Lincoln Center a block from the park is Cafe Fiorello -- the thin crust mixed mushroom pizza is heaven for bruch. The big umbrellas over the tables help to make it seem like you're not on Broadway but at a big tent party. This is a great weekend for the park, everything is colorful and in bloom, take your camera!

Apr 17, 2009
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

HELP! I need a nice Japanese lunch near MET Museum tomorrow!

Thank you all, I will ask my guests to pick one of these after making sure they serve lunch.

You are life savers!
Bill

Apr 14, 2009
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

HELP! I need a nice Japanese lunch near MET Museum tomorrow!

Please help me, I can only come up with places on Third Ave. For very nice European friends who I missed seeing tonight. I need to make up nice tomorrow!
Thanks.

Apr 13, 2009
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

Guerande Fleur du Sel by Paludier

Well I found it. It's at Truffette, aka SOS Chef on Avenue B. $12 for a small container.

Mar 15, 2009
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

Questions about Chez L'Ami Jean

I ate there twice in January and the chef was in top form and the dishes astounding. Frankly I wish people would say the place is no longer on the A list so they would stay away and I can get a reservation easier next time around ;-).

Mar 15, 2009
Bill Strzempek in France

Questions about Chez L'Ami Jean

Geez, why didn't you just send the dish back to be cooked more if you hated it that much? Surely that would have been easier than choking down a raw corpse.

Mar 15, 2009
Bill Strzempek in France

I tried Modern Apizza (New Haven)

For what it's worth, I've been to Modern 4 times, each time after 9pm and I've never waited 10 seconds for a table, sit, drink, eat.

Clam with Bacon is A+++!

Feb 11, 2009
Bill Strzempek in All New England Archive

Guerande Fleur du Sel by Paludier

Does anyone know for sure of a store where this is sold?

(I am looking for this brand only, please, no other recs or online purchasing referrals, I have those already.)

Feb 01, 2009
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

Instant Oatmeal Taste Test

I also eat a lot of McCann's instant -- they are available in Food Emporium too. Two bags with one cup of skim milk in the microwave for 2 minutes gives you a fast and hearty breakfast with plenty of texture and plenty of creaminess. I like to float a little maple syrup across the top and a tablespoon of heavy cream if there's some around and I defy anyone not to like that, even finicky kids.

Jan 31, 2009
Bill Strzempek in Features

Critique my choices, please, and accept my thanks

Ah. Duh.
For pizza you MUST go to Angelo's. I live on 45th and 8th. It is the best pie in Manhattan; we order hundreds of them every year at my office too. However, if you like a slice, the slices at the back of the Bread Factory on 8th and 55th Street are pretty good, especially when fresh from the oven. Check out angelospizzzny.com for more pix, etc. There are two within a short walk of your hotel, or better yet, have one delivered and sit back and relax with some wine.

Angelo’s on 53rd Street
1697 Broadway
New York, NY
212-245-8811

Angelo’s on 57th Street
117 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
212-333-4333

Aug 15, 2008
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

Critique my choices, please, and accept my thanks

What the heck is RW????? Can't figure it out. And why was it extended???

Aug 14, 2008
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

LUPA must haves?

Spaghetti carbonara. If it's back on the menu.

Oct 01, 2007
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

Dining hour in Paris and ordering aperitifs

You just reminded me of another almost impossible to find aperatif: Orange Colombo, which is a vin orange that you describe. Very few wine merchants sell it in Paris, you can find it in Montreal sometimes. They usually have it at the popular Le Parc Aux Cerfs bistro on rue Vavin in the 6th. Highly recommended, especially on a warmer day, so refreshing...

Aug 27, 2007
Bill Strzempek in France

Dining hour in Paris and ordering aperitifs

Hey Dave, your question lured me out of self imposed exile from this Board. An aperatif that you MUST try at least once while in France is "Suze". It is difficult to find as it has fallen slightly out of fashion with even the locals, so when you see it on a carte, pounce! At one time it was all the rage, you can often see the advertisements for it in old Cartier Bresson and Bressai photos from the 30s through the 50s. It is a sharply bitter but not unpleasant radioactive yellow colored syrupy liquor that is served over ice. Often it is presented with a teaspoon or so of Cassis in the glass, which, heavier than Suze, flows to the bottom of the glass, leaving you with a photogenic cocktail with purple on the bottom and yellow on the top. If you get an orange slice as a garnish on the rim haul out the camera for sure. The reason you must try this is that Suze is not imported to the States, so your only chance to try it is in France or parts of Quebec (and last I checked they were having difficulty getting it too). Traveler's tip: If you enjoy it (and you will) you can buy bottles of it for around 9 Euros at the duty free in Charles DeGaulle (its usually on the bottom shelf near the Pernod), a great way to get rid of your last Euros and not having to haul 2 bottles of liquor through the subway on the way home. It is the one thing I ask anyone going to Paris or Canada to bring back for me.

As far as a great "house" aperatif, I really love -- and all the friends I have introduced to it have as well -- the aperatif at Le Tire Bouchon on rue des Entrepreneurs in the 15th, my favorite bistro in Paris. It is a coupe of champagne laced not with cassis but with rose water and, I believe, Calvados, the aroma as you bring the glass to your nose melts all tension away.

Salut.

Aug 25, 2007
Bill Strzempek in France

Paris guide?

My concern with P. Wells is that she is way too cozy with restauranteurs nowadays to give an objective opinion, she has become a very nice lady who shills for her living. I'm not saying anything about her personality, I just think she now is at a place in her career where she has to come up with "product" and "copy" that is "new" to fill her many media spots and because of that much of what she recommends may be flash in the pan places that close in a year or may not be deserving of the highest quality, they are just places with great publicity agents who know how to entice to get a favorable article. I have the feeling she is pressured to crank out recommendations and because of that the recommendations often suffer or fall short of the highest standards.

Jan 14, 2007
Bill Strzempek in France

Goodburger is not greatburger overall

We've tried their burgers three times now over the last two weeks (at the 54th/Lex location). Twice they were overcooked to well done when ordered medium rare. The burger ordered rare tonight was rare. The "works" toppings were an excellent fresh combo each time. Nice toasted bun. Satisfaction ends there.

Service is pretty haphazard and unthinking. One of our medium well burgers tonight was ready four minutes before the rare one and I was the only person waiting. It sat on the counter getting cold in an open take out bag waiting for the rest of the order. No heat lamp? That should not happen.

The side orders are consistently meagre in portion and not worth the price. The root beer was unexeceptional for the price, Barq's from a can is better. The fries were lacking in fresh potato taste and crunch. Our order of onion rings had only SEVEN greasy rings for $2.95. That is ridiculous. But most insulting of all is the $1.50 portion of cole slaw which is about two fork fulls.

We may come back for a burger after a while, but we will definitely pass on the side orders and get drinks elsewhere.

Frankly within a few blocks of Lex and 54th we can do just as well at Oxford or Sherwood Delis, get much better fries and all at a much better price.

Dec 29, 2006
Bill Strzempek in Manhattan

Paris-choucroute/coq/boeuf bourguignon/oysters/beaujoulais

Re: beaujolais nouveau night, if you don't go to Le Gavroche (rue St. Marc) you will miss out on a great experience, singalongs, accordions, petting the bulldog, dancing with the kids, this place LOVES their beaujolais and steak frites. Your choucroute recs sound solid.

Nov 13, 2006
Bill Strzempek in France

Stephane Derbourd in Dijon

I hope you'll let us know how it was, and where else you ate in Dijon, there's not a lot of reviews on Dijon and it is a very good town to eat in...

Nov 09, 2006
Bill Strzempek in France

dining alone

Le Gavroche is a must for you. You'd also be treated like family at La Poule au Pot, especially in the late night, wee hours.

Nov 08, 2006
Bill Strzempek in France